The Black Panther Party
My survey paper for Assignment 4 is on the Black Panther Party. I will discuss the rise and the fall of the Black Panther Party and how Huey Newton and Bobby Seale met. I will also discuss some of the goals of the Black Panther Party, the good the party did for the black and poor communities. I will also discuss what they hoped to achieve from their movement.
Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party (BPP) in Oakland, California in 1966. The original name of the Black Panther Party was the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Huey Newton was illiterate when he graduated from high school. Newton taught himself how to read. Seale had served in the Air Force. Newton and Seale met while both were attending Merritt Junior College in 1965. After Newton attended Merritt Junior College he studied law at the San Francisco School of Law. At Merritt Junior College they organized a Soul Student’s Advisory Council. This Council was the first group to demand that African-American studies be included in the college curriculum. The two men split with the council when Newton and Seale wanted to bring a squad of Black youths on campus to perform drills in commemoration of Malcolm X’s birthday the year after his death. This is when they formed the Black Panther Party. Newton was the Party’s Defense Minister and Seale was the Chairman. The Black Panther Party symbol, the panther, was adopted from an independent political party established by residents in Lowndes County, Alabama a year earlier. The symbol was chosen because the panther is a powerful image.
To achieve their goals, Newton and Seale had a ten-point platform that demanded full employment, exemption of black men from the military and an end to police brutality among other things. The last point, point number ten was a summary of all of the other points. One of the main goals was to protect Black citizens against police brutality. Their message was self-defense. The Party originally preached violent revolution as the only means of achieving black liberation. The party called on blacks to arm themselves for the liberation struggle. Huey Newton studied law and spoke up when the police violated the civil rights of Black people. He made sure the search warrants were legal. The Black Panther Party had their own patrols to monitor the activities of the police in Black neighborhoods. The Black Panther Party advocated the use of violence for people trying to defend themselves. Not everyone agreed with the Black Panther Party. The media distorted a lot of things. The Black Panther Party was viewed as Black militants at war with the White power structure and of hating the police. The Black Panther Party considered this view a false view. The members of the Black Panther Party did have strong feelings about the use of violence and the police. “I say violence is as necessary as cherry pie is to America”, H. Rap Brown, Justice Minister, Black Panther Party. Bobby...